Kansas Backcourt Woes

        If it was one game, it could be the Maui hangover from the games and the travel. But it's not. It's been consistently inconsistent play from Kansas' two starting guards Tyshawn Taylor and Elijah Johnson. The decision-making is poor, the perimeter shooting is woeful and if things don't get better in a hurry, it's going to be a wild long shot for Kansas to earn mention in the Big 12 alongside Baylor, Missouri and a healthy Texas A&M.

        Taylor is the senior guard, supposed to lead by example and this was going to be his breakout season where his talent finally lived up to all of the hype and overcame all of his off-the-court troubles, but it's been far from that. Through six games, he has a career-worst .422 field-goal percentage and more turnovers (22) than assists (20). Aside from his scoring (where he is taking nearly twice as many shots as last season at a far worse percentage), Taylor's stats are down across the board.

        Elijah Johnson, a junior guard, has been equally as bad as his senior Taylor, firing a career-low .404 from the field and turning the ball over 15 times compared to just 22 assists. Against the lowly Florida Atlantic, Johnson failed to record a single point on the board, but accounted for 7 turnovers.

        Each of the starting guards has a turnover rate hovering right around 25 percent, while their assist percentages are identical at 20.9 percent. For two guards with NBA potential, their assist-to-turnover rates should be drastically higher, displaying their horrendous decision-making comparable to that of a scared true freshman playing big time ball. But Johnson and Taylor are not as bad as their production says they are. For Kansas to beat their level of competition and Top 50 RPI teams, the Jayhawks will need their guards to step up in a big way.

By President - Corey Ruff - 12-1-11